It appears that we have two ways of thinking effectively. Or at least that is what Gladwell seems to argue. We have the thin-slice which you all know about by now and we have the information gathering, rational brain that collects evidence and makes a thoughtful, weighted decision. In chapter four, Gladwell discusses the system devised by Dr. Brendan Reilly to use the thin-slice in a rational, effective way. He thereby combined the two. He made the process systematic and able to be replicated by physicians everywhere. Reilly’s friend describes him as someone who is “always exploring different topics whether it’s philosophy or Scottish poetry or the history of medicine” (133). Clearly this is a person who strives for and succeeds at looking at the big picture.

I think that is something the previous two posts address as well. How are you, as new students, going to balance the details with the essentials, whether they be sleep, social time or studying. So, what is the big picture for you? What system do you use currently to create this balance between slow, rationally made decisions and the snap judgments you make to survive? Do you already know you need to hone those skills or to build them up? Number four of our study guide points to the idea of students being empowered to make decisions. How do you define what it means to be empowered and what kinds of decisions aid you in that pursuit? Specifically, how do you relate to Reilly’s story? More importantly, why do you think Gladwell tells the story of Reilly in the way that he does?